Buffalo, N.Y., Feb 28, 2020 / 10:10 am
The Diocese of Buffalo announced on Friday that it is declaring bankruptcy as hundreds of abuse lawsuits have been filed against it in the last several months.
The diocese said it was formally filing for Chapter 11 reorganization under the U.S. bankruptcy code to provide the most compensation for victims of clergy sex abuse while continuing the day-to-day work of its Catholic mission.
"Our decision to pursue Chapter 11 reorganization - arrived at after much prayer, discernment and consultation with the College of Consultors and our Diocesan Finance Council - is based on our belief that this approach will enable the most number of victim-survivors of past sexual abuse in achieving fairness and a sense of restorative justice for the harm they have experienced," Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, the diocese's apostolic administrator, said on Friday.
"It will also allow the vital, mission-driven work of faith that is so essential to the residents of Western New York to continue uninterrupted," Scharfenberger said.